Two bills aimed at GenX and emerging contaminants passed their first readings in Raleigh today. Democrats and Republicans from the Cape Fear region sponsored two different versions – both filed last Thursday.
Legislators wasted little time when the General Assembly reconvened last week in trying to deal with this region’s most pressing concern.
Representative Deb Butler and other Democrats filed bill 968 calling for nearly ten million dollars in recurring funds to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality that would fund at least 39 staff members and a revamping of the agency’s permitting process. It would also pay for new equipment, including a mass spectrometer.
The GOP House Bill 972 and an identical one in the Senate, provides $8 million in nonrecurring funds to UNC Chapel Hill for them to coordinate testing of the state’s waters for emerging contaminants. Representative Holly Grange says it makes more sense for universities to do research than the DEQ. The GOP bill also gives the Governor the authority to shut down a company that is discharging pollutants.
Both the Democratic and the Republican bills provide more than half a million dollars to fund a water safety unit at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
The competing bills now go to committee.
Read The House Bills: